Wed, 22 Oct 2008|
At FDIC 2008, Bobby Halton talks to Mike Dubron, head of the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, about the fire service's cancer issue.
I walk along the road -- -- reliant again here from FDIC 2008 thanks to an end. Got a great interview here is next few minutes good friend of mine went -- -- from the firefighter cancer sport network and -- also. Helicopter firefighter medic in Los Angeles he's out there. Doing the job every day and he's also cancer survivor. By the way you might also won best dressed this year for FDIC. His history at three. Okay Doug Wilson welcome back again a little while they it is wonderful thing Obama gets thank goodness for wives take care results that -- us well it's obvious it's great to be here again. -- well what a wonderful everybody -- -- as a great turnout again. And now we're on now visit -- this year. But to be -- our sport network and -- our program with our partners across the nation. To tell us a little bit about the network might what's the network do for guys and and gals out there firefighters. Who may have -- who believe they might be -- potentially have a cancer. Well what we do Bobby is so when a firefighter active retired. -- career or volunteer -- contact our organization toll free phone number of staffed 24 hours a day. And they can call up and say hey look -- my wife we've been diagnosed with. This form of cancer. And looking for a little bit of guidance and what we do is we have a database. Of cancer survivors who -- there. To help them walk them through the process. Being initially diagnosed in the fears are involved because you know our firefighting community we think wearing control in this -- mentality we have. And then when -- diagnosis of cancer comes along realize that we're not. In being able to talk to somebody that's been there and done that is a huge resource. Some the things were working on the program right now. We are working -- educational materials -- get that information out there that how we can better take care of ourselves as firefighters maintaining our equipment. And prolonging our lives the importance of our wellness exams. And proper manner medical screenings and cancer screenings. That's that's been so what when when someone who believes that they may have -- cancer. What should they do if they -- -- contact the cancer support network where they can call us and our toll free phone number which is 866994. -- CS and or they can go on our website which is www. Firefighter cancer support dot org. And put in requests for assistance and I'll be immediately responded. You guys can do all kinds support. All kinds of help -- -- little interaction absolutely and that we have a wellness corn is established is all that -- support. And for those that are newly diagnosed we sentiments caller tool box. It's has been no taking material and it specific information about their type of cancer to kind of help guide -- through the process. You know what happens Mike is a lot of people believe at all -- of hereditary and that's just not true. Cancer can come from outside agents smoke carcinogens. -- when you and I first came on the job we used to. Roll around people's blood you come back look car actually -- Shooting or stabbing -- -- people blood on you wouldn't think but now we know about aids and hepatitis home theater when stuff. Loved firefighters -- -- it's the same thing with so. So it. Smoke all products of combustion. Where -- our artists Carson's jokes and the amazing thing to me is that men and women in the fire service -- -- -- to fire after fire. Have these books have their bunker gear absolutely contaminated with gosh knows why and then. Would take it home sometimes wear it -- into their into their very homes -- into the bunk room. Sure not not understanding that that physical contact with those products can be just as dangerous. Right correct that's absolutely correct and that's the that's the part of the fire service that we're trying to make a dent in. In trying to teach our guys we see already some some positive responses and people changing the ways I know my department. You don't see you bunker turnout gear in the living space is anymore no longer -- your -- next -- bad. We try to preach the importance of maintaining -- -- our department has it cleaning service available to us we have to -- turnouts. That we can go and -- and our reserves set by the others especially being cleaned. Some departments have the ability to -- -- theirselves -- always we don't mix that those gear with with personal clothing items. The importance of coming back from a fire where you even though you might have the best turnout -- possible you still have some sort of absorption maybe in your skin and so forth. You know we come back a fire in your book you -- sneeze or have the necessity. Mucus you wanna take a shower and get rid of all that stuff before you climb back into bed. What's -- what's the most predominant cancer for men in the fire service and then. Also for women what what do you what do we what do we think it and I know the data might not be that what do you think of us. Well what do I think causes that or that the fort title -- -- what do you think as well to support types of cancer from the University of Cincinnati say which you can pick -- web site. States that non hodgkin's lymphoma testicular. -- multiple myeloma. And as he -- Not his -- -- up multiple myeloma. Testicular and prostate cancer -- Is the four big ones we see in me in the mails and our service. And again. We really don't have the answers to why we can only summer as summarized that it's it's these excuse contacts and exposures. That it leads to these things obviously researchers worked diligently on trying to find not only answers to what causes it. But also the -- And no you deal with the -- in the emotional. After math and these of that nation with the with the foundation -- and you work with the you can support network. What about legislation I know Illinois has presumptive for cancer and leave San Francisco does is a city but -- the state of California stick off. -- where I'm from fortunately does have a presumptive law covering all forms of cancer so for instance my case. My Michael rectal cancer was deemed to be job related so therefore was picked up as -- as a job related ailments there there are many states and -- go to the website again for that information of what states. Have either full or partial legislation supporting presumptive laws. Protecting their firefighters -- states unfortunate you're not having things. And there's those state levels we surely spurt. -- efforts to get legislation to support there are matters as much needed area that absolutely needs to be a national -- That the numbers are much higher for us from -- isn't that that is the truth that that's -- unfortunately and that's why we need to get this education out there to our firefighters about. Taking better care yourselves. In if you do end up being diagnosed with cancer hopefully it's an early and early diagnosis and early detection which is huge -- you know. -- that offers up a really important question when should the male firefighters start with digital isn't. And colonoscopy is and other exams that they care generally -- other men. -- comfortable with and we you know we all understand the humor of it that this is not this is deadly serious it's. Yeah it's it's it's very serious and and for those that feel uncomfortable and going those types of exams. I tell you -- a minor inconveniences to what is coming down the road and you know exact terms -- -- Clinton about. Absolutely so what what the general community says is the average male and female should have a colonoscopy at the age of fifty. And if there's family history they need to understand it's you know seek their medical provider to get. A better understanding that for me I was diagnosed at age 39 with Michael rectal cancer. So the indications are from my children to be -- checks starting at the age of 29. So ten years prior to a date burgers and fifty. Is we need to aggressively being checked in for -- -- cancer it's very very beatable detected early. And thank goodness me had a celebrated five years. The digital red red digital rectal exam and GRE. Which is can be checking for prostate cancer your PSA. That should be also started age fifty and understanding to we have family history. When we -- lot of medical question -- we checked those boxes we should check them. Accurately because that -- these medical professionals to ask for their questions and you further further detailed exams. Which might be applicable to you which might -- early detection. -- you doing great work -- can. Remember exams are important prevention catch -- -- You don't need to die from cancer anymore some cancers unfortunately. Are very very tough but most cancers can be beat. The fire -- be alert to this it's in the smoke it's what we touch it's everywhere we are. We must take care of ourselves we have to get on top of this. If you state doesn't have presumptive legislation get with your -- -- -- -- get with your local politicians start working towards that go to web site. Be informed be prepared be armed shower wash up after fires. Don't play with smoke. It's not cool that I care to test the live -- sure clean up your -- keep -- -- clean keep yourself clean protect yourself. Get to your pension. He's safe and remember be careful out there this is -- -- we're live on the road and FBI seat for the good from -- -- -- Be careful there.